Marion Witte

September 23, 2018

Another Out-Of-Touch, Old White Man

Filed under: Catholic Church — Marion Witte @ 5:29 pm

I must be naïve, for I thought most people would support the idea that children shouldn’t be raped by men wearing dresses, especially if he flaunts his power by wearing wizard hats and bead necklaces with alpha-male sized crosses.

My latest blog posts are focusing attention on the issue of childhood sexual abuse, especially in religious organizations, including religious schools. Several people have made it clear that this also happens in religious organizations other than the Catholic Church. Point well taken.

That said, I have been somewhat surprised, yet not shocked, by the reaction to my posts about the childhood abuse that occurs specifically within the Catholic Church. Most people agree that this abuse needs to end, yet they offer several reasons why they will not speak up:

  1. They are afraid of what family members will say
  2. They are afraid of what their social media “friends” will say
  3. They are afraid of what their employer might say
  4. They are afraid of the Church’s response to them within their community
  5. They are afraid of what will be uncovered by getting outside law enforcement involved
  6. They are afraid the cost of settling all the lawsuits will bankrupt the Church

These fears, and others that I have probably not considered, appear to be holding people back from expressing an opinion or getting involved with this important issue.  What is disconcerting to me is that, while I believe most people find childhood rape an abhorrent behavior, they also consider it “someone else’s problem.”  Perhaps people would be more vocal in their outrage if they understood that their fear of speaking up is inconsequential compared to the fear inflicted upon these children.  I speak from personal experience.

The Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania was the first major law enforcement agency in the United States to investigate child abuse within the Catholic Church.  Their report did not cover the entire state, as it did not include the State’s largest diocese in Philadelphia.  In spite of that, the results of that inquiry are appalling.

A national survivor’s organization is calling for an investigation to be conducted by officials in each state.  So far, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico and Kentucky have begun inquiries.  California’s attorney general is currently under pressure to undertake a similar investigation.

Below is a link to an online site where you can petition to have an investigation done in your state.  Note: For some reason the list is not alphabetical, so you have to scroll down this list to find your state.

Call for Church Investigation

God only knows the extent of the massive national abuse that may be uncovered, as it has been in Australia, Ireland, Canada and many of the European countries. We should all welcome the results of the various investigations in the United States that are to take place, so we understand the magnitude of this problem.

If you are a Catholic, a non-Catholic or a compassionate human being, please ask yourself why you have remained silent about this issue, and if there may be some action, even if it is a small one, that you could take to show your support for the survivors, and the children currently being abused. I am one small voice with one small platform, and I do what I can, yet we need many more “small voices” to speak up in order to effect change.

As you decide what personal action you need to take (or not take), you may also want to ponder about what side of history you want to find yourself.

As a society, we can change our political alliances, our court system, and even our Constitution.  That said, if we do not stop raping and abusing children, we are morally bankrupt, and none of those other actions matter.

 

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